2 veteran Israeli commentators stress Iran behind what they see as a regional conflict

Ehud Ya'ari (photo credit: courtesy)
Ehud Ya'ari (photo credit: courtesy)

Ehud Ya’ari and Amos Yadlin, two veteran commentators in the Channel 12 news studio, analyze the Hamas and Iranian strategy in the war.

Ya’ari, the TV station’s longtime Arab affairs analyst, stresses that this is not solely a Hamas-Israel conflict, but rather a regional battle, orchestrated by Iran.

A prime goal was to prevent the US-brokered Saudi-Israel normalization effort, he says, and that is already succeeding.

Ya’ari says Hamas was assured that it will not be alone. While he says he doesn’t know if Hezbollah will get deeply involved, he notes: “Metula has not been emptied for no reason” — a reference to the closure by the IDF of parts of Israel’s northernmost town, and the departure of most of its residents.

He notes that Hezbollah’s deputy chief said on Friday that Hezbollah is ready to get involved.

Ya’ari says he has seen indications of Iranian-backed militias in Syria moving toward that border, and Iranian-backed militias in Iraq moving into Syria. “This is a regional event,” he says.

The US, gradually assembling increasing forces in the region, is seeking to deter the Iranians.

Hamas’s Gaza chief Yahya Sinwar “would not have attacked 22 communities and 11 IDF bases and positions” in order to free Palestinian security prisoners from Israeli jails,” says Ya’ari.

Amos Yadlin, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence (Tomer Neuberg/ FLASH90)

Amos Yadlin, a former head of IDF Military Intelligence, offers two theories of the Iranian strategy:

The worse of the two theories, he says, is that this is part of the Iranians’ staged plan against Israel. They started by stirring trouble in the West Bank, prompting Israel to deploy additional forces there, have now moved on to the Gaza border, will aim to see the IDF get stuck in Gaza with a ground invasion, and then Hezbollah will jump in.

The second theory is that they do not see the time as ripe for that, recognizing that Israel’s military remains extremely strong “although we had a catastrophe.”

He says Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah does not want Beirut turned into Gaza, and that the US has clarified that if Nasrallah hits Israel, Tomahawk missiles will rain down on Beirut.

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